Procurement hub illuminates savings for Manchester authorities

28 October 2011

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29 October 2011 | Angeline Albert

A purchasing hub for local authorities in Greater Manchester is on track to achieve £5.5 million savings by March 2012, with the help of a framework agreement for street lighting services.

The procurement hub for the Association of Greater ManchesterAuthorities (AGMA) (made up of 10 local authorities and their partners) believes the savings from a framework deal for the installation, connections and repair of street lighting will collectively save the 12 public bodies that have agreed to use it £600,000 a year.

The AGMA street lighting electrical connections project, launched in September, sees independent connection providers (ICPs) provide unmetered electrical connections to street lighting equipment. The framework includes seven providers and is expected to save £2.4 million over the next four years. This is partly due to the lower prices charged by ICPs in comparison to large energy suppliers.

“We are particularly proud of this project because the collaboration sought to stimulate the market in a service that has not historically been extensively competed. It has enabled the local economy to be stimulated by including some local suppliers on the framework agreement,” said Stephanie McCahill, procurement manager the AGMA procurement hub.

McCahill said Wigan Council, who instigated the project, had been trying to overcome the monopoly situation in the provision of unmetred electrical connections by large energy providers for street lighting equipment since 2001. Although Ofgem first proposed that ICPs be used to provide unmetered electrical connections to street lighting equipment, it is the first time the public authorities have collectively decided to use ICPs.

The 12 public bodies that agreed to use the framework are Bolton Council, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, St Helens Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Trafford Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, WarringtonBorough Council and Wigan Council.

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